A cataract is any loss of clarity in the lens of the human eye, like looking through a dirty window. Furthermore, it can cause colors to shift or appear very dull. The degree that it affects a person varies from minor to severe.
The benefit of birthdays is normally the most common cause of cataracts, if we live long enough we will all get cataracts. They are influenced by nutrition, certain medicines, ultraviolet (UV) light, heredity, trauma to the eye, and illnesses.
During the early stages of cataract development patients might notice a glare, a haze, or a general cloudiness of vision. Cataracts do not cause pain or discomfort. They are not cancerous or tumorous. They are not an emergency.
Changes in your eye sight may be so small and subtle that you may be only slightly aware of them. Many times there will be a shift in your prescription and it will appear that you are becoming more nearsighted. This phenomenon is the RULE rather than the exception and is often called “second sight”.
30% may develop a 2nd cataract, which can be remedied by quick, easy, safe laser surgery.
Regular primary care eye examinations are recommended to keep your vision as keen and sharp as possible. We provide independent unbiased advice regarding surgery.
If your sight becomes bad enough or if you are having noticeable problems with vision interfering with your life style, then we may advise you to have cataract surgery. Generally, cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure with only a few restrictions on activities following surgery. Insurance may take care of most of the cost and you should check to get the exact amount covered from the surgeon. In addition if any change in prescription occurs after surgery, Medicare will pay for the first lenses. A full explanation of the pros and cons will be given to you along with the potential increase in vision expected with the surgery from the surgeon. Because we have observed the results of many surgeons and their techniques we are in a position to recommend the best surgeons in the Rocky Mountain Region.
Initial cataracts cannot be removed by lasers. Lasers are used to remove post-surgical membranes (secondary cataracts) that are a minor complication in a few percentage of patients having cataract removal.
During the cataract surgery an implant (artificial plastic lens) is placed into the eye. This is desirable because prior to the use of implants, patients needed to have thick glasses or use contact lenses. Neither arrangement was extremely efficient or natural. Following cataract surgery, glasses are still needed, but their appearance and use is similar to what you experienced prior to surgery. The final benefit from the surgery cannot be fully appreciated until the glasses are prescribed, and it is usually recommended that you wait 3-4 weeks, as fluctuations in vision happen due to the healing process. In high percentages (80-85%) the prescription will change again in about a year. For this reason Dr. Baron suggests yearly reevaluations.
Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure in the United States and with a very high success rate. The result of the surgery can improve your vision considerably. Think positive and the results will be ideal. Today, fortunately cataracts are merely an inconvenience. Below are two links about cataract surgery.
If you have special concerns, problems, or questions please call Dr. Baron. We want you to understand this condition and the procedures that can be done to improve your sight. Your seeing efficiency is our primary interest.
See how sunglasses can help your risk of getting cataracts.